Aditus, arguably the biggest name in the Venezuelan pop rock scene, is alive and well. We’re talking about a band that has been able to bring together different generations of fans with their music like no other in the country. In late 2023, Aditus officially celebrated five decades of playing with a series of full-packed shows and the release of their new song “Son 50”.
The new single references the names of some of the band’s most emblematic songs, such as “Casualidad”, “No Se Quita”, “Mi Amplificador”, “Victoria”, “Algo Eléctrico”, “Guardia De Frontera”, “No Te Vayas Ahora”, “Tiempo”, “La Vida No Me Alcanzará”, “No Te Pueden Apagar.” And its video is a throwback to its history: showing footage of the band through the years, behind-the-scenes from the recording studios and album covers. In December, in fact, the group celebrated its 50th anniversary with a concert in the Tamanaco Hotel.
Aditus started out as a rock band in the late sixties in San José de los Altos under the name of Aditus Ad Antrum –we need a medical doctor to explain to us what this ear cavity is for; perhaps their first drummer, Edgar De Sola, who came up with it–. Then it changed to Orquesta Aditus Rock Band. Its current name dates back to 1975 when Aditus released their first recording, a 45 rpm with the singles “Las Lunas de Marte” y “Bajada misteriosa”. The first album “A través de la ventana” was published in 1977.
Over the years, Aditus experimented with progressive rock, blues, latin jazz, fusion, pop and new wave. They did a lot of instrumental tunes with very little commercial appeal. In any case, if you are into latin jazz or fusion, do yourself a favor and take a look at the album Aditus / 2 from 1979. Just listen to the song “Samsara” from that LP:
Their big break came in the eighties, with the albums Posición adelantada (1983), AM-Vision (1984), Juegos de azar (1985) and Algo eléctrico (1987), when they turned to synth-pop with lots of melodic tunes during the Venezuelan pop music boom. Let’s remember how influential the record labels Sonográfica and Sonorodven were during those years for the promotion of local artists. And Aditus worked with both of them. Aditus was the pop rock band that anyone had something good to say about because of the high-quality of their music, well-crafted lyrics, energetic concerts and the good vibes that always surrounded them.
The group garnered a lot of attention with their very catchy original songs in Spanish, at a time when there was an avid young audience that wanted to hear their local artists. When we think about the movement “Rock en tu idioma” that was so successful in Latin America and Spain in the eighties and nineties, Aditus is the first Venezuelan pop rock act that comes to mind. Like many local artists, they benefited from the radio regulations that imposed the one-on-one format (one song from a Venezuelan artist vs. one song from a foreign artist). At a time when FM radio was almost non-existent in the country, Radiodifusora Venezuela 790 AM and Radio Capital 710 AM were basically the dials to go to to listen to rock and pop music, though Aditus was so successful it was easy to listen to their songs across many radio stations in the main cities.
Just watch this superb video of “El Viajero” in the well-remembered Venezuelan weekly TV program called La música que sacudió al mundo, in which Aditus displays its powerful presence playing in front of an audience besides some meaningful lyrics:
So many great musicians have played in the band, including guitar icon Alvaro Falcón. The classic lineup back in the heyday was formed by George Henríquez (vocals and keyboards), Sandro Liberatoscioli (bass guitar), Pedro Castillo (vocals and guitar), and Valerio González (drums). During this period, George and Pedro composed most of the music, while Sandro wrote the lyrics. George came from a band called Los Snobs at a time when “sifrino” was not even a recognized word in the Venezuelan jargon. Pedro came from rival progressive rock group Témpano (another band that experienced intense musical transformations and different lineups, and was very successful doing pop rock in the 1980s). Valerio came from Síntesis, a band which had a latin-oriented sound. Yet, Sandro –one of the founders of Aditus— eventually left the group to concentrate on his corporate career.
From the old days only George and Valerio remain, and after many changes, they have a new singer and guitarist named Manuel Mirabal, along with Manuel Muñoz on bass guitar and Julio Sánchez on guitar. Sometimes, Valerio’s son that goes by the same name, joins them on stage on drums as it happened last December, as well as some other musical guests.
Maybe you remember some Aditus concert at El Poliedro, the baseball stadium at La Rinconada, the Maestranza César Girón in Maracay, BOD Cultural Center (formerly Consolidado), Teatro La Campiña or Mata de Coco, and you are a Venezuelan living abroad and you kind of feel homesick. Then you go and put “No te pueden apagar” on with the mesmerizing landscapes, spectacular beaches, and bright blue skies of the country in this incredible video.
As Venezuelans we should have a music hall of fame and Aditus should be inducted right away. Meanwhile, and despite the recent concert, let’s not put more pressure on George, Sandro, Pedro and Valerio for the long-awaited reunion of the original members. Without a doubt, so many fans would be more than happy to see the most successful lineup playing together once again. Most of us are a bit nostalgic of the country we used to have and Aditus certainly brings back great memories. Indeed, Aditus’ 50th anniversary is a postcard of the endurance of our pop culture amidst everything that has happened during half of the band’s trajectory. Perhaps Aditus gives us a lesson that not everything is lost.
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